Greece Reinstates Law Allowing For Arrest Of Anyone Suspected Of Being HIV+
A heinous Draconian law that allows police to arrest those suspected of having HIV, force testing, evict them from homes and have their names published in a list of HIV positive individuals, has been reinstated in Greece.
Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis reissued the law, which was originally intended to forcibly test hundreds of women in 2012, earlier this month.
Greece has been seen as increasingly fearful of people with HIV. Rates of the virus have risen over 200% since 2011, most likely due to increased drug abuse and rising unemployment among young adults, which is now over 20%. According to the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV infections among injecting drug users has doubled from 206 to 487 since 2011. At the same time, HIV prevention budgets have taken a major cut, from 35 million Euros in 2010 to 20 million last year.
Today, that HIV hysteria is growing, say activists, in part because with austerity cuts many Greeks are one step away from extreme poverty, most experiencing it for the very first time in their lives. The homeless population is growing with the numbers gathering in central squares increasing daily. Despite being one of the most gay-friendly countries in Europe, the backlash against people with HIV has been alarming for visitors and natives alike.
“The Greek Health Minister is clearly violating basic human rights and human dignity under the guise of ‘protecting the community from contagious diseases,’” Doctors of the World, a non-profit, said in a statement reacting to the news.